Losing steam: Aus shares close 0.22% lower on Friday

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market finished in the red today and slightly lower for the week, shying away from the 6,000 millstone. At the open, the local bourse popped up, after better than expected US leads, but our financial and industrial sectors dragged the chain, leading us lower.

It comes as Qantas (ASX:QAN) told shareholders business conditions will get tougher in the second half, on the back of higher fuel costs.

AMP (ASX:AMP) also reported growth in its assets under management, cash flows and loan book, but its shares took a hit, along with the big four banks and insurers.

Leading the charge, was the telco and energy space, while Blackmores (ASX:BKL), Resmed (ASX:RMD) and Nufarm (ASX:NUF) also shone brightly.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 13 points lower, or 0.22 per cent lower to finish at 5,903. Over the week we lost about 4 points.

The value of trades was $6.5 billion on volume of 796 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) Westpac Bank (ASX:WBC), and Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG).

On the futures market the SPI is 22 points lower.

Asian markets 

Japan’s Nikkei has added 1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.8 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has added 0.3 per cent.

Wall Street

Over the four trading days this week

The Dow Jones rose 0.3 per cent, The S&P 500 lost 0.6 per cent and the tech heavy Nasdaq shed 1.1 per cent, while the 100 index fell 1.2 per cent.

Local economic news

Producer prices rose 0.2 per cent in the September quarter according to the ABS, missing the 0.6 per cent rise expected. Despite it missing the mark, the most growth came from price rises in electricity, gas and water supply. Year-on-year the producer prices rose 1.6 per cent, less than expected and the prior reading.

Company news now

Domino’s Pizza Enterprises (ASX:DMP) has completed the purchase of Bain Capital Domino Hong Kong’s shares in its Japan JV. Shares in Domino’s Pizza Enterprises (ASX:DMP) closed flat at $48.43.

And the Australian Government’s Department of Health has granted Cann Group (ASX:CAN) a licence to important and export cannabis genetics and medical cannabis products. The licence granted, through the Office of Drug Control will allow Cann Group to apply for a permit to export raw cannabis material and cannabis oil. It will also help with the development of a plant breeding program. Shares in Cann Group (ASX:CAN) rose 4.46 per cent to $1.64.

Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) has announced a 19 per cent increase in its half-year net profit after tax to $1.25 billion to September 2017.

One of the world’s biggest dairy processors, Saputo, has inked a deal to buy Murray Goulburn Co-operative Co (ASX:MGC) operating assets and liabilities for $1.31 billion.

And a company treating sleep apnea, ResMed (ASX:RMD) reported an uptick in gross profits and revenues in the first quarter for FY18. It also saw bolstered cash flows to $94 million.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was telcos adding 0.6 per cent to close at 1,258.
The worst performing sector was financials (Ex Reits), shedding 0.6 per cent to close at 7,393 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Blackmores (ASX:BKL), rising 9.89 per cent to close at $151.32. Shares in Nufarm Limited (ASX:NUF) and Orocobre (ASX:ORE) also closed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Saracen mineral holdings (ASX:SAR), dropping 6.04 per cent to close at $1.40. Shares in Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN) and St Barbara (ASX:SBM) also closed lower.

Commodities and the dollar 

Gold is trading at $US1,268 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.64 up at $US52.82 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 76.44 US cents.